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65 Bible Verses about Exclusiveness
Most Relevant Verses
For you shall worship no other god; for the Lord, Whose name is Jealous, is a jealous (impassioned) God,
You shall not go after other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who are round about you; For the Lord your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you, and He destroy you from the face of the earth.
With whom the Lord had made a covenant and commanded them, You shall not fear other gods or bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them. But you shall [reverently] fear, bow yourselves to, and sacrifice to the Lord, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt with great power and an outstretched arm. And the statutes, ordinances, law, and commandment which He wrote for you you shall observe and do forevermore; you shall not fear other gods.read more.
And the covenant that I have made with you you shall not forget; you shall not fear other gods. But the Lord your God you shall [reverently] fear; then He will deliver you out of the hands of all your enemies.
I am the Lord; that is My name! And My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to graven images.
And you shall be holy to Me; for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.
You shall not walk in the customs of the nation which I am casting out before you; for they did all these things, and therefore I was wearied and grieved by them. But I have said to you, You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey. I am the Lord your God, Who has separated you from the peoples.
When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you are entering to possess and has plucked away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, And when the Lord your God gives them over to you and you smite them, then you must utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them, or show mercy to them. You shall not make marriages with them; your daughter you shall not give to his son nor shall you take his daughter for your son,read more.
For they will turn away your sons from following Me, that they may serve other gods; so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you and He will destroy you quickly. But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and hew down their Asherim [symbols of the goddess Asherah] and burn their graven images with fire. For you are a holy and set-apart people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a special people to Himself out of all the peoples on the face of the earth.
That you may not mix with these nations that remain among you, or make mention of the names of their gods or swear by them or serve them or bow down to them.
It was eaten by the Israelites who had returned from exile and by all who had joined them and separated themselves from the pollutions of the peoples of the land to seek the Lord, the God of Israel.
On that day they read in the Book of Moses in the audience of the people, and in it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever come into the assembly of God, For they met not the Israelites with food and drink but hired Balaam to curse them; yet our God turned the curse into a blessing. When [the Jews] heard the law, they separated from Israel all who were of foreign descent.
You shall not make marriages with them; your daughter you shall not give to his son nor shall you take his daughter for your son, For they will turn away your sons from following Me, that they may serve other gods; so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you and He will destroy you quickly.
Afterward, the officials came to me and said, The Israelites and the priests and Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, but have committed the abominations of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites. For they have taken as wives some of their daughters for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy offspring have mixed themselves with the peoples of the lands. Indeed, the officials and chief men have been foremost in this wicked act and direct violation [of God's will]. When I heard this, I rent my undergarment and my mantle, I pulled hair from my head and beard and sat down appalled.read more.
Then all those who trembled at the words of the God of Israel because of the offensive violation of His will by the returned exiles gathered around me as I sat astounded until the evening sacrifice.
Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered at Jerusalem within three days. It was the twentieth day of the ninth month, and all the people sat in the open space before the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of the heavy rain. And Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, You have acted wickedly and broken faith [with God] and have married foreign (heathen) women, increasing the guilt of Israel. So now make confession and give thanks to the Lord, the God of your fathers [for not consuming you], and do His will. Separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from [your] foreign (heathen) wives.read more.
Then all the assembly answered with a loud voice, As you have said, so must we do. But the people are many and it is a time of heavy rain; we cannot stand outside. Nor can this work be done in a day or two, for we have greatly transgressed in this matter. Let our officials stand for the whole assembly; let all in our cities who have foreign wives come by appointment, and with each group the elders of that city and its judges, until the fierce wrath of our God over this matter is turned away from us. Only Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah opposed this, and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite supported them. Then the returned exiles did so. Ezra the priest and certain heads of fathers' houses were selected, according to their fathers' houses, each of them by name; and they sat down on the first day of the tenth month to investigate the matter. And by the first day of the first month they had come to the end of the cases of the men married to foreign wives.
In those days also I saw Jews who had married wives from Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. And their children spoke half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak the Hebrew, but in the language of each people. And I contended with them and reviled them and beat some of them and pulled out their hair and made them swear by God, saying, You shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons or for yourselves.read more.
Did not Solomon king of Israel act treacherously against God and miss the mark on account of such women? Among many nations there was no king like him. He was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel; yet strange women even caused him to sin [when he was old he turned treacherously away from the Lord to other gods, and God rent his kingdom from him]. Shall we then listen to you to do all this great evil and act treacherously against our God by marrying strange (heathen) women?
And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and [especially wicked] sinners came and sat (reclined) with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, Why does your Master eat with tax collectors and those [preeminently] sinful?
And as Jesus, together with His disciples, sat at table in his [Levi's] house, many tax collectors and persons [ definitely stained] with sin were dining with Him, for there were many who walked the same road (followed) with Him. And the scribes [belonging to the party] of the Pharisees, when they saw that He was eating with [those definitely known to be especially wicked] sinners and tax collectors, said to His disciples, Why does He eat and drink with tax collectors and [notorious] sinners?
And Levi (Matthew) made a great banquet for Him in his own house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others who were reclining [at the table] with them. Now the Pharisees and their scribes were grumbling against Jesus' disciples, saying, Why are you eating and drinking with tax collectors and [preeminently] sinful people?
Now the tax collectors and [notorious and especially wicked] sinners were all coming near to [Jesus] to listen to Him. And the Pharisees and the scribes kept muttering and indignantly complaining, saying, This man accepts and receives and welcomes [ preeminently wicked] sinners and eats with them.
For up to the time that certain persons came from James, he ate his meals with the Gentile [converts]; but when the men [from Jerusalem] arrived, he withdrew and held himself aloof from the Gentiles and [ate] separately for fear of those of the circumcision [party].
And God said to Abraham, As for you, you shall therefore keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your posterity after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be a token or sign of the covenant (the promise or pledge) between Me and you.read more.
He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male throughout your generations, whether born in [your] house or bought with [your] money from any foreigner not of your offspring. He that is born in your house and he that is bought with your money must be circumcised; and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the male who is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.
When a stranger sojourning with you wishes to keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it.
And [God] made with Abraham a covenant (an agreement to be religiously observed) of which circumcision was the seal. And under these circumstances [Abraham] became the father of Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac [did so] when he became the father of Jacob, and Jacob [when each of his sons was born], the twelve patriarchs.
And this day shall be to you for a memorial. You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations, keep it as an ordinance forever. [In celebration of the Passover in future years] seven days shall you eat unleavened bread; even the first day you shall put away leaven [symbolic of corruption] out of your houses; for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. On the first day you shall hold a solemn and holy assembly, and on the seventh day there shall be a solemn and holy assembly; no kind of work shall be done in them, save [preparation of] that which every person must eat -- "that only may be done by you.
And you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day have I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore shall you observe this day throughout your generations as an ordinance forever. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread [and continue] until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. Seven days no leaven [symbolic of corruption] shall be found in your houses; whoever eats what is leavened shall be excluded from the congregation of Israel, whether a stranger or native-born.read more.
You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread [during that week].
And the Lord said to Moses, Also the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement; it shall be a holy [called] assembly, and you shall afflict yourselves [by fasting in penitence and humility] and present an offering made by fire to the Lord. And you shall do no work on this day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God.read more.
For whoever is not afflicted [by fasting in penitence and humility] on this day shall be cut off from among his people [that he may not be included in the atonement made for them].
But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, yet does not keep the Passover, that person shall be cut off from among his people because he did not bring the Lord's offering at its appointed time; that man shall bear [the penalty of] his sin.
And the Lord said to Moses, Say to the Israelites, You shall eat no kind of fat, of ox, or sheep, or goat. The fat of the beast that dies of itself and the fat of one that is torn with beasts may be put to any other use, but under no circumstances are you to eat of it.read more.
For whoever eats the fat of the beast from which men offer an offering made by fire to the Lord, that person shall be cut off from his people. Moreover, you shall eat no blood of any kind, whether of bird or of beast, in any of your dwellings. Whoever eats any kind of blood, that person shall be cut off from his people.
And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, Say to the Israelites: These are the animals which you may eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud, any of these animals you may eat.read more.
Nevertheless these you shall not eat of those that chew the cud or divide the hoof: the camel, because it chews the cud but does not divide the hoof; it is unclean to you. And the coney or rock badger, because it chews the cud but does not divide the hoof; it is unclean to you. And the hare, because it chews the cud but does not divide the hoof; it is unclean to you. And the swine, because it divides the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud; it is unclean to you. Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean to you. These you may eat of all that are in the waters: whatever has fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, these you may eat; But all that have not fins and scales in the seas and in the rivers, of all the creeping things in the waters, and of all the living creatures which are in the waters, they are [to be considered] an abomination and abhorrence to you. They shall continue to be an abomination to you; you shall not eat of their flesh, but you shall detest their carcasses. Everything in the waters that has not fins or scales shall be abhorrent and detestable to you. These you shall have in abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, for they are detestable: the eagle, the ossifrage, the ospray, The kite, the whole species of falcon, Every kind of raven, The ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, every species of hawk, The owl, the cormorant, the ibis, The swan, the pelican, the vulture, The stork, all kinds of heron, the hoopoe, and the bat. All winged insects that go upon all fours are to be an abomination to you; Yet of all winged insects that go upon all fours you may eat those which have legs above their feet with which to leap on the ground. Of these you may eat: the whole species of locust, of bald locust, of cricket, and of grasshopper. But all other winged insects which have four feet shall be detestable to you. And by [contact with] these you shall become unclean; whoever touches the carcass of them shall be unclean until the evening, And whoever carries any part of their carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening. Every beast which parts the hoof but is not cloven-footed or does not chew the cud is unclean to you; everyone who touches them shall be unclean. And all that go on their paws, among all kinds of four-footed beasts, are unclean to you; whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean until the evening, And he who carries their carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening; they are unclean to you. These also are unclean to you among the creeping things [that multiply greatly] and creep upon the ground: the weasel, the mouse, any kind of great lizard, The gecko, the land crocodile, the lizard, the sand lizard, and the chameleon. These are unclean to you among all that creep; whoever touches them when they are dead shall be unclean until the evening. And upon whatever they may fall when they are dead, it shall be unclean, whether it is an article of wood or clothing or skin (bottle) or sack, any vessel in which work is done; it must be put in water, and it shall be unclean until the evening; so it shall be cleansed. And every earthen vessel into which any of these [creeping things] falls, whatever may be in it shall be unclean, and you shall break the vessel. Of all the food [in one of these unclean vessels] which may be eaten, that on which such water comes shall be unclean, and all drink that may be drunk from every such vessel shall be unclean. And everything upon which any part of their carcass falls shall be unclean; whether an oven, or pan with a lid, or hearth for pots, it shall be broken in pieces; they are unclean, and shall be unclean to you. Yet a spring or a cistern or reservoir of water shall be clean; but whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean. If a part of their carcass falls on seed which is to be sown, it shall be clean; But if any water be put on the seed and any part of their carcass falls on it, it shall be unclean to you. If any animal of which you may eat dies [unslaughtered], he who touches its carcass shall be unclean until the evening. And he who eats of its carcass [ignorantly] shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening; he also who carries its carcass shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening. And everything that creeps on the ground and [multiplies in] swarms shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten. Whatever goes on its belly, and whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has more [than four] feet among all things that creep on the ground and swarm you shall not eat; for they are detestable. You shall not make yourselves loathsome and abominable [by eating] any swarming thing that [multiplies by] swarms, neither shall you make yourselves unclean with them, that you should be defiled by them. For I am the Lord your God; so consecrate yourselves and be holy, for I am holy; neither defile yourselves with any manner of thing that multiplies in large numbers or swarms. For I am the Lord Who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God; therefore you shall be holy, for I am holy. This is the law of the beast, and of the bird, and of every living creature that moves in the waters, and creeps on the earth and multiplies in large numbers, To make a difference (a distinction) between the unclean and the clean, and between the animal that may be eaten and the animal that may not be eaten.
Any one of the house of Israel or of the strangers who dwell temporarily among them who eats any kind of blood, against that person I will set My face and I will cut him off from among his people [that he may not be included in the atonement made for them]. For the life (the animal soul) is in the blood, and I have given it for you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement, by reason of the life [which it represents]. Therefore I have said to the Israelites, No person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who dwells temporarily among you eat blood.read more.
And any of the Israelites or of the strangers who sojourn among them who takes in hunting any clean beast or bird shall pour out its blood and cover it with dust. As for the life of all flesh, the blood of it represents the life of it; therefore I said to the Israelites, You shall partake of the blood of no kind of flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats of it shall be cut off.
That you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from [tasting] blood and from [eating the meat of animals] that have been strangled and from sexual impurity. If you keep yourselves from these things, you will do well. Farewell [be strong]!
None of you shall approach anyone close of kin to him to have sexual relations. I am the Lord.
The nakedness of your father, which is the nakedness of your mother, you shall not uncover; she is your mother; you shall not have intercourse with her. The nakedness of your father's wife you shall not uncover; it is your father's nakedness. You shall not have intercourse with or uncover the nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father or of your mother, whether born at home or born abroad.read more.
You must not have sexual relations with your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter; their nakedness you shall not uncover, for they are your own flesh. You must not have intercourse with your father's wife's daughter; begotten by your father, she is your sister; you shall not uncover her nakedness. You shall not have intercourse with your father's sister; she is your father's near kinswoman. You shall not have sexual relations with your mother's sister, for she is your mother's near kinswoman. You shall not have intercourse with your father's brother's wife; you shall not approach his wife; she is your aunt. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law; she is your son's wife; you shall not have intercourse with her. You shall not have intercourse with your brother's wife; she belongs to your brother. You shall not marry a woman and her daughter, nor shall you take her son's daughter or her daughter's daughter to have intercourse; they are [her] near kinswomen; it is wickedness and an outrageous offense. You must not marry a woman in addition to her sister, to be a rival to her, having sexual relations with the second sister when the first one is alive. Also you shall not have intercourse with a woman during her [menstrual period or similar] uncleanness. Moreover, you shall not lie carnally with your neighbor's wife, to defile yourself with her. You shall not give any of your children to pass through the fire and sacrifice them to Molech [the fire god], nor shall you profane the name of your God [by giving it to false gods]. I am the Lord. You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination. Neither shall you lie with any beast and defile yourself with it; neither shall any woman yield herself to a beast to lie with it; it is confusion, perversion, and degradedly carnal. Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, for in all these things the nations are defiled which I am casting out before you. And the land is defiled; therefore I visit the iniquity of it upon it, and the land itself vomits out her inhabitants. So you shall keep My statutes and My ordinances and shall not commit any of these abominations, neither the native-born nor any stranger who sojourns among you, For all these abominations have the men of the land done who were before you, and the land is defiled -- " [Do none of these things] lest the land spew you out when you defile it as it spewed out the nation that was before you. Whoever commits any of these abominations shall be cut off from among [his] people. So keep My charge: do not practice any of these abominable customs which were practiced before you and defile yourselves by them. I am the Lord your God.
The man who commits adultery with another's wife, even his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. And the man who lies carnally with his father's wife has uncovered his father's nakedness; both of the guilty ones shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon their own heads. And if a man lies carnally with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death; they have wrought confusion, perversion, and defilement; their blood shall be upon their own heads.read more.
If a man lies with a male as if he were a woman, both men have committed an offense (something perverse, unnatural, abhorrent, and detestable); they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. And if a man takes a wife and her mother, it is wickedness and an outrageous offense; all three shall be burned with fire, both he and they [after being stoned to death], that there be no wickedness among you. And if a man lies carnally with a beast, he shall surely be [stoned] to death, and you shall slay the beast. If a woman approaches any beast and lies carnally with it, you shall [stone] the woman and the beast; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. If a man takes his sister, his father's or his mother's daughter, and sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness, it is a wicked and shameful thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people; he has had sexual relations with his sister; he shall bear his iniquity. And if a man shall lie with a woman having her menstrual pains and shall uncover her nakedness, he has made naked her fountain, and she has uncovered the fountain of her blood; and both of them shall be cut off from among their people. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister or of your father's sister, for that is to make naked his close kin; they shall bear their iniquity. And if a man shall lie carnally with his uncle's wife, he has uncovered his uncle's nakedness; they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless [not literally, but in a legal sense]. And if a man shall take his brother's wife, it is impurity; he has uncovered his brother's nakedness; they shall be childless [not literally, but in a legal sense].
Cursed is he who lies with his father's wife, because he uncovers what belongs to his father. All the people shall say, Amen. Cursed is he who lies with any beast. All the people shall say, Amen. Cursed is he who lies with his half sister, whether his father's or his mother's daughter. All the people shall say, Amen.read more.
Cursed is he who lies with his mother-in-law. All the people shall say, Amen.
The Samaritan woman said to Him, How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan [and a] woman, for a drink? -- "For the Jews have nothing to do with the Samaritans -- "
Now when [the Samaritans] the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles from the captivity were building a temple to the Lord, the God of Israel, They came to Zerubbabel [now governor] and to the heads of the fathers' houses and said, Let us build with you, for we seek and worship your God as you do, and we have sacrificed to Him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here. But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the rest of the heads of fathers' houses of Israel said to them, You have nothing to do with us in building a house to our God; but we ourselves will together build to the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, has commanded us.
Jesus sent out these twelve, charging them, Go nowhere among the Gentiles and do not go into any town of the Samaritans; But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Now when the time was almost come for Jesus to be received up [to heaven], He steadfastly and determinedly set His face to go to Jerusalem. And He sent messengers before Him; and they reached and entered a Samaritan village to make [things] ready for Him; But [the people] would not welcome or receive or accept Him, because His face was [set as if He was] going to Jerusalem.
And he said to them, You yourselves are aware how it is not lawful or permissible for a Jew to keep company with or to visit or [even] to come near or to speak first to anyone of another nationality, but God has shown and taught me by words that I should not call any human being common or unhallowed or [ceremonially] unclean.
Jesus sent out these twelve, charging them, Go nowhere among the Gentiles and do not go into any town of the Samaritans;
And going away from there, Jesus withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman who was a Canaanite from that district came out and, with a [loud, troublesomely urgent] cry, begged, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is miserably and distressingly and cruelly possessed by a demon! But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, Send her away, for she is crying out after us.read more.
He answered, I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. But she came and, kneeling, worshiped Him and kept praying, Lord, help me! And He answered, It is not right (proper, becoming, or fair) to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs. She said, Yes, Lord, yet even the little pups ( little whelps) eat the crumbs that fall from their [young] masters' table. Then Jesus answered her, O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you wish. And her daughter was cured from that moment.
And Jesus arose and went away from there to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He went into a house and did not want anyone to know [that He was there]; but it was not possible for Him to be hidden [from public notice]. Instead, at once, a woman whose little daughter had (was under the control of) an unclean spirit heard about Him and came and flung herself down at His feet. Now the woman was a Greek (Gentile), a Syrophoenician by nationality. And she kept begging Him to drive the demon out of her little daughter.read more.
And He said to her, First let the children be fed, for it is not becoming or proper or right to take the children's bread and throw it to the [little house] dogs. But she answered Him, Yes, Lord, yet even the small pups under the table eat the little children's scraps of food. And He said to her, Because of this saying, you may go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter [permanently]. And she went home and found the child thrown on the couch, and the demon departed.
Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium (judgment hall, governor's palace). And it was early. They themselves did not enter the Praetorium, that they might not be defiled (become ceremonially unclean), but might be fit to eat the Passover [supper].
Now the apostles (special messengers) and the brethren who were throughout Judea heard [with astonishment] that the Gentiles (heathen) also had received and accepted and welcomed the Word of God [the doctrine concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God]. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party [certain Jewish Christians] found fault with him [separating themselves from him in a hostile spirit, opposing and disputing and contending with him], Saying, Why did you go to uncircumcised men and [even] eat with them?read more.
But Peter began [at the beginning] and narrated and explained to them step by step [the whole list of events]. He said: I was in the town of Joppa praying, and [falling] in a trance I saw a vision of something coming down from heaven, like a huge sheet lowered by the four corners; and it descended until it came to me. Gazing intently and closely at it, I observed in it [a variety of] four-footed animals and wild beasts and reptiles of the earth and birds of the air, And I heard a voice saying to me, Get up, Peter; kill and eat. But I said, No, by no means, Lord; for nothing common or unhallowed or [ceremonially] unclean has ever entered my mouth. But the voice answered a second time from heaven, What God has cleansed and pronounced clean, do not you defile and profane by regarding or calling it common or unhallowed or unclean. This occurred three times, and then all was drawn up again into heaven. And right then the three men sent to me from Caesarea arrived at the house in which we were. And the [Holy] Spirit instructed me to accompany them without [the least] hesitation or misgivings or discrimination. So these six brethren accompanied me also, and we went into the man's house. And he related to us how he had seen the angel in his house which stood and said to him, Send men to Joppa and bring Simon who is surnamed Peter; He will give and explain to you a message by means of which you and all your household [as well] will be saved [ from eternal death]. When I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as He did on us at the beginning. Then I recalled the declaration of the Lord, how He said, John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with ( be placed in, introduced into) the Holy Spirit. If then God gave to them the same Gift [equally] as He gave to us when we believed in (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on) the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I and what power or authority had I to interfere or hinder or forbid or withstand God? When they heard this, they were quieted and made no further objection. And they glorified God, saying, Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance unto [real] life [after resurrection].
But when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I protested and opposed him to his face [concerning his conduct there], for he was blameable and stood condemned. For up to the time that certain persons came from James, he ate his meals with the Gentile [converts]; but when the men [from Jerusalem] arrived, he withdrew and held himself aloof from the Gentiles and [ate] separately for fear of those of the circumcision [party]. And the rest of the Jews along with him also concealed their true convictions and acted insincerely, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy (their example of insincerity and pretense).
But some men came down from Judea and were instructing the brethren, Unless you are circumcised in accordance with the Mosaic custom, you cannot be saved.
But some who believed [who acknowledged Jesus as their Savior and devoted themselves to Him] belonged to the sect of the Pharisees, and they rose up and said, It is necessary to circumcise [the Gentile converts] and to charge them to obey the Law of Moses.
Notice, it is I, Paul, who tells you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no profit (advantage, avail) to you [ for if you distrust Him, you can gain nothing from Him]. I once more protest and testify to every man who receives circumcision that he is under obligation and bound to practice the whole of the Law and its ordinances. If you seek to be justified and declared righteous and to be given a right standing with God through the Law, you are brought to nothing and so separated (severed) from Christ. You have fallen away from grace (from God's gracious favor and unmerited blessing).read more.
For we, [not relying on the Law but] through the [Holy] Spirit's [help], by faith anticipate and wait for the blessing and good for which our righteousness and right standing with God [our conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action, causes us] to hope. For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love.
Those who want to make a good impression and a fine show in the flesh would try to compel you to receive circumcision, simply so that they may escape being persecuted for allegiance to the cross of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
For there are many disorderly and unruly men who are idle (vain, empty) and misleading talkers and self-deceivers and deceivers of others. [This is true] especially of those of the circumcision party [who have come over from Judaism].
For by [ means of the personal agency of] one [Holy] Spirit we were all, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, baptized [and by baptism united together] into one body, and all made to drink of one [Holy] Spirit.
Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the [Holy] Spirit as the result of obeying the Law and doing its works, or was it by hearing [the message of the Gospel] and believing [it]? [Was it from observing a law of rituals or from a message of faith?] Are you so foolish and so senseless and so silly? Having begun [your new life spiritually] with the [Holy] Spirit, are you now reaching perfection [by dependence] on the flesh? Have you suffered so many things and experienced so much all for nothing (to no purpose) -- "if it really is to no purpose and in vain?read more.
Then does He Who supplies you with His marvelous [Holy] Spirit and works powerfully and miraculously among you do so on [the grounds of your doing] what the Law demands, or because of your believing in and adhering to and trusting in and relying on the message that you heard?
[I went on to say] Although we ourselves (you and I) are Jews by birth and not Gentile (heathen) sinners, Yet we know that a man is justified or reckoned righteous and in right standing with God not by works of the Law, but [only] through faith and [absolute] reliance on and adherence to and trust in Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). [Therefore] even we [ourselves] have believed on Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the Law [for we cannot be justified by any observance of the ritual of the Law given by Moses], because by keeping legal rituals and by works no human being can ever be justified (declared righteous and put in right standing with God).
And He made no difference between us and them, but cleansed their hearts by faith ( by a strong and welcome conviction that Jesus is the Messiah, through Whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God). Now then, why do you try to test God by putting a yoke on the necks of the disciples, such as neither our forefathers nor we [ourselves] were able to endure? But we believe that we are saved through the grace (the undeserved favor and mercy) of the Lord Jesus, just as they [are].
For we hold that a man is justified and made upright by faith independent of and distinctly apart from good deeds (works of the Law). [The observance of the Law has nothing to do with justification.] Or is God merely [the God] of Jews? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, Since it is one and the same God Who will justify the circumcised by faith [ which germinated from Abraham] and the uncircumcised through their [newly acquired] faith. [For it is the same trusting faith in both cases, a firmly relying faith in Jesus Christ].
Is this blessing (happiness) then meant only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We say that faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness. How then was it credited [to him]? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. He received the mark of circumcision as a token or an evidence [and] seal of the righteousness which he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised -- "[faith] so that he was to be made the father of all who [truly] believe, though without circumcision, and who thus have righteousness (right standing with God) imputed to them and credited to their account,read more.
As well as [that he be made] the father of those circumcised persons who are not merely circumcised, but also walk in the way of that faith which our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.